If you’re looking for the ultimate outdoor family-fun destination, then head to Sevierville in the Great Smoky Mountains.
It’s a family-friendly small town that is a little more relaxed than other cities in the Great Smokies, and for that we adore it. (Yes, I think it’s our new favorite Smoky Mountain town. Shhh!) Read through for our favorite things to do in Sevierville TN.
Sky High Air Tours
Grab your flying goggles and head for the skies with Sky High Air Tours. You and a friend can soar 1,000 ft over Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, with spectacular views that are just not possible to imagine from the ground. In the fall, the view is unmatched anywhere.
The vintage open cockpit airplane, called the Waco Biplane, takes you up for 8-30 minutes depending on the package you purchase. They range in price from $99 – $275.
Dan and I rode together – it is 2 people max. The boys opted to watch our 15 min flight from the hanger, as they were a little nervous to join us.
I’ll admit to being a little nervous, also, but Mark (the pilot and owner) was great….and the flight is so smooth and easy that even in the open cockpit I was not frightened at all (this coming from a woman who refuses to ride roller coasters!)
We took the 15 minute tour, which is well worth the price, but if you can afford it try the longer tour which takes you out over Douglas Lake. I promise that when you hear the engine wind down to begin the landing, you’re going to wish you had purchased the longer tour.
While you are up, each person gets a headset so you can hear Mark tell you about what you’re seeing. It’s not like a guided tour though (unless you specifically ask), which I appreciated. I just wanted to soak it all in – every minute of it.
Bring cash – you’re going to want to leave a tip!
Things to Do in Sevierville TN: Tennessee Museum of Aviation
Just a few hundred yards from where you take your biplane ride, stop in the Tennessee Museum of Aviation. The front part of the museum includes thousands of historic artifacts, while the back part is a 50,000 sq ft hanger packed with vintage aircraft.
In the exhibits area features a “Wave Wall” which traces significant milestones in the history of aviation from before the Wright Brothers. There is piece of the USS Arizona, which the boys found fascinating. We also saw pilot uniforms from multiple points in history – how interesting to watch them evolve.
The hanger was our favorite! We saw two Republic P-47 Thunderbolts from WWII (there are not many of these left), a full scale replica of the 1902 Wright Glider, several MiG fighter jets, and much more!
RainForest Adventures Discovery Zoo
RainForest Adventure Discovery Zoo is a small little zoo that is jam-packed with tons of fun! Designed by one of the contractors who worked on the Disney Animal Kingdom project, it features over 600 different animals.
My favorite exhibit was the marmosets. They were so adorable and so curious. I could be wrong, but I swear they were talking to me with sign-language.
Elliot liked the rats…they had multiple rat exhibits in different stages of life, and he watched the 1-5 day old babies for a long, long time. Their eyes weren’t even open yet, and the mama was giving them a bath.
Most of the zoo is inside, but there is also a small petting zoo outside with goats, sheep and emu. This was Cooper’s favorite! Be sure to pick up a bag of food from the giftshop so you can feed them.
Honestly, I was very impressed with the Zoo. Places like this can be hit or miss across the country, and this was definitely a hit. It’s a mom and pop run business, with more than 20 years under their belt and a focus on exotic animals of the rain forest. Absolutely worth the stop!
Breathe in the rich splendor of the majestic Appalachians with the Smoky Mountains Sightseeing Flex Pass. Save up to 30% of admission costs at over 30 attractions and tours throughout the Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and the Smokies.
Things to Do in Sevierville TN: Sevier Air Trampoline & Ninja Warrior Park
Sometimes when you’re on vacation you need something just for the kids – and this is it! Yes, you can jump too…but this trampoline jumping park was the most epic “get the wiggles out” stop for our boys. Especially because we had been driving for so long earlier in the day.
Jump for an hour or two at Sevier Air – with dodge ball, a “high dive” jumping station, interactive jumping games, ninja warrior park, wipe-out station and tons of jumping space.
Don’t miss the bottom floor while you’re there. You’ll find a two-story ropes climb and a cafe with snacks, frozen yogurt and more. We also noticed that they have small rooms in this area, perfect for birthday parties.
Uncle Hanks Knives
The highlight of our trip was working with Hank and LouAnn at Uncle Hank’s Knives.
Uncle Hank’s sits in the oldest brick building in Sevierville, right in the parking lot of Smoky Mountain Knife Works. It’s here that you can take classes from Hank and make your own knife!
The boys started with half a ponyshoe each, and Dan and I used half a horseshoe…and with Hank’s lead we moved from firing and hammering then to sanding… to hardening… and finally to sharpening and polishing.
Hank has worked with kids as young as 5 years and as old as 90 years. In fact, he had just recently finished a workshop with a 90 yo man- plus his son, grandson and great-grandson, all together.
Our knife making session took about 3 hours for four knives (and the time flew by) but you can make a smaller knife in as little as 30 minutes. Just be sure to make a reservation as soon as you know you are heading to the area. Appointments are all private and they fill up fast.
Foxfire Mountain Bridge to Prosperity
Our plan was to spend about an hour here at Foxfire Mountain….three hours later we had to drag ourselves away. SO MUCH FUN!
Start by writing your wish to the fairies, then bring it across the 335 ft swinging bridge spanning the gorge from Foxfire Mountain to Prosperity Mountain where the fairies live.
Once across, offer your wish up, build a cairn, climb the tree canopy, and hike to Lost Mine Falls.
After you make it back to Foxfire Mountain, walk along the river or challenge the kids on the Little Adventurer Obstacle Course (don’t let the name fool you – it’s a challenge, for sure!)
Don’t miss a stop at Wyile Cider House to sample the hard ciders and pick up a few bottles. Bring the kids, too…there is an alcohol-free cider also.
Things to Do in Sevierville TN: Apple Barn Village
While we’ll be the first to tell you that Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant is a “must eat” Sevierville location (here is our entire Sevierville Restaurants list) we absolutely want you to consider visiting the entire Apple Barn Village.
See the original barn from 1972, which was refurbished and opened with tons of yummy treats. Be sure to stop in the Cider Room, also. You can watch apples from their 4,000 trees being pressed into cider, which you can sample! If you want something a little more potent, then stop in the Cider House, featuring hand-crafted hard ciders.
There is also a candy shop and ice creamery that the kids will love. And for the parents, don’t miss a tasting at the Apple Barn Winery.
The Visit Sevierville website offers several different driving tours, and we really recommend them. Because of the time of year we visited, we opted for the Fall Driving Tour to Douglas Lake.
We started in Downtown Sevierville at the Dolly Parton Statue in front of the Sevier County courthouse. Celebrating the queen of country music, Dolly Parton’s statue is the Sevierville’s attraction to visit – and be sure to get a selfie with her.
From there we visited an art gallery, drove by the Kyker Farms Corn Maze (they we’re not yet open) and took a walk along the Douglas Dam with great views of Douglas Lake.
Where to Stay
For complete details about the The Ridge, the tent, and other questions our readers asked about our stay, see this post!
Best for Families: Located within 6 miles of expansive Douglas Lake, the Club Wyndham Great Smokies Lodge in Sevierville features an indoor water park, seasonal outdoor water park, and fitness center. Guests will also be 10 miles from historic Pigeon Forge city center. This lodge offers guests free property-wide Wi-Fi and a convenient on-site deli. Miniature golf and an indoor park are offered for an additional fee.
Best Luxury Stay: Featuring an outdoor pool with a waterslide and an outdoor seating area with fire pits and plush lounge seating, The Lodge at Five Oaks offers luxury rural-inspired accommodations in Sevierville, Tennessee, just outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Great for families, this hotel has a pool with waterslide the kids will love.
Best for the Holidays: Ready to get in the holiday spirit? Then the Inn at Christmas Place in nearby Pigeon Forge is a great choice. The Bavarian-inspired inn is opposite Christmas Place holiday store and 0.8 mi from The Island in Pigeon Forge. An outdoor pool with a 100-foot waterslide and large garden are on site. Santa Claus sings Christmas songs and tells holiday stories from Summer through December, and a glockenspiel art installation with bronze bells is on display in the lobby.
Experience a Tennessee vacation at the gateway of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park when you stay at Sun Outdoors Sevierville/Pigeon Forge. As one of the best resorts near Pigeon Forge, Sun Outdoors offers an outstanding location near exciting local attractions. Enjoy their swimming pool area, complete with a lazy river and splash pad, play a game of basketball, or take the kids to the playground. There is also a fenced-in bark park, so you can bring the whole family with you on vacation.
Map Your Overnight in Sevierville
Next Time We Visit
We adore the small town mountain feel of Sevierville. It was not our first visit – it certainly will not be our last. Here are a few things we are anxious to check out on our next trip.
Forbidden Caverns: One of Tennessee’s 8,350 caves, you can learn about the different formations and more.
Adventure Park at Five Oaks: Horseback riding and ziplining adventures on a 70-acre natural park.
Wears Valley Helicopter Tour: It would be amazing to see the spectacular mountain views while flying over historic Sevierville during a helicopter tour!
The Smoky Mountain Deer Farm Exotic Petting Zoo: Walk among the deer and other animals, and even hand feed them.
Nascar Speedpark: Go-karts and other family rides, plus unlimited mini golf and an indoor rock climbing wall.
Sevierville Festivals: From the Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival in May to the Sevierville Smoky Mountain Harvest Fest in November, there is always something fun happening here. We’re more than ready for them to open again!
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Disclosure: Thank you to Visit Sevierville and their partners for hosting us. Opinions here are our own, as always.
We make no guarantees of any price listed on our site. We are not responsible for content on external web sites linked from ours, including linked resources, an external blog post, any partner site, hotel property sites, or affiliate sites. We only write about places we love in an attempt to help you in your adventures, but we can’t guarantee you will love them, too.